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Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.
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John Kerry Stops in Baghdad Ahead of Obama Speech

September 10, 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced stop in Baghdad on Wednesday to meet with Iraq's new prime minister ahead of President Obama's address to the nation on his strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Kerry made the visit to congratulate the recently appointed leader, Haider al-Abadi, on his...

AmeriCorps Is Almost Old Enough to Drink

September 9, 2014 Like many of its volunteers, AmeriCorps is almost 20 years old. Three of the four living ex-presidents will join President Obama – two from afar – in celebrating the national service organization's 20th birthday on Thursday, the White House said. Former President Bill Clinton will speak with Obama on the...

Republicans Mum on ISIL Until They Can Attack Obama's Plan

September 9, 2014 Republican congressional leaders are deflecting the tough questions about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria until they hear President Obama's plan for defeating the terrorist group. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was repeatedly pressed by reporters Tuesday about whether he believes U.S. ground troops are needed in the Middle...

White House Swears Obama's Immigration Delay Is His Last One

September 9, 2014 The White House is really serious this time: President Obama will act to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants before the end of the year. Obama had promised to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer, but on Saturday he announced that he would delay the move...

The Campaign Against ISIL Could Outlast Obama's Presidency

September 8, 2014 The strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that President Obama will outline to the nation on Wednesday will be a campaign that takes years and be passed on to his successor. Multiple reports on Monday morning quoted senior administration officials signaling that Obama's stated plan...

Bill Clinton Was George W. Bush's Secret White House Whisperer

September 8, 2014 George W. Bush was known – and often criticized – for being insular during his eight years in the White House, but he made regular calls to a surprising adviser during his second term: his predecessor. Bill Clinton revealed on Monday that the second President Bush picked his brain twice...

White House Sends Spending Wish List to Congress

September 8, 2014 The White House reportedly wants Congress to provide more money for an experimental Ebola drug and give the administration more flexibility for dealing with the border crisis when it approves a stopgap spending bill this month. According to the Associated Press, an administration request sent to House and Senate committees...

Obama's Been Too Busy Being President to Issue His Big Immigration Order

September 6, 2014 Yes, President Obama is still planning to issue his highly-anticipated executive order on immigration that will enrage Republicans, please many Democrats and make a bunch of others very nervous. But no, the president is not ready to do it yet, he doesn't know exactly when he will. Obama was asked...

House Republicans Won't Vote on an ISIL Resolution Unless Obama Asks For It

September 5, 2014 The House will only vote on a formal resolution authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State if President Obama makes a direct request for congressional action. That's the message the new majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has been delivering privately to lawmakers in recent days, according...

Kevin McCarthy Doesn't Want the Government's Marshmallow Roasting Advice

September 4, 2014 The new House majority leader is picking a fight with the Obama administration over marshmallows. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was installed as Eric Cantor's replacement a month ago, took the U.S. Forest Service to task on Thursday for devoting a 700-word blog post to the timeless tradition of marshmallow...